8 Best Sony Lenses For Real Estate Photography 2022
To be successful at real estate photography, you must first equip yourself with the right set of tools that can assist you in capturing high quality images that will help your listing stand out and sell fast.
Apart from a good camera body, a sturdy tripod, and extra lighting, one of the most essential photography gears you can invest in is a good camera lens. There are multiple types of camera lenses on the market today, each with their own edge over the other and varying specs to choose from.
If you are a Sony user, we are here to provide you with a comprehensive list of Sony lenses that are best suited for the real estate photography business. We also break down the top 5 things you need to look for when choosing your lens to ensure you kick start your career on the right foot.
What Is The Best Sony Lens For Real Estate Photography?
Because you are bound to encounter different kinds of properties throughout your real estate photography career, you want to get a Sony camera lens that can be with you through the thick of it. This means being able to adapt well in various lighting conditions, power through difficult weather, and perfectly capture rooms of any size and state.
The best Sony lens for the job is one that is versatile enough to cater to different needs and preferences. While it may seem like a lot to look for, taking the time to get the right specifications will definitely pay off sooner than you think.
Each lens comes with a set of limitations and advantages when compared side-by-side with other options. It does not always follow that the more affordable models are of lower quality, or that you should invest only on the expensive and top tier ones.
In fact, determining the best Sony lens for you starts with determining what your needs are within your projects. Once you get a clearer picture as to what kind of listings you will be shooting more of, and how exactly you want your photographs to come out, then you narrow down the many lens options available to find one best suited for you.
5 Things To Consider Before Buying Sony Lenses For Real Estate Photography
When choosing the best Sony lens, there are five main factors to take into consideration, namely:
Wide Angle Focal Length
The thing with real estate photography is that using just any kind of lens will not do. You need to invest in a wide-angle focal length lens specifically because images of your listing must be captured with as much detail included as possible.
Being able to showcase each room or area of the home as a whole within each shot is one thing that makes real estate photos more captivating. A wide-angle lens has a smaller focal length than kit lens or other standard options. This is what makes it more than capable of photographing amazing photos even in narrow spaces or poorly lit environments.
Wide-angle lenses can range anywhere between 8 mm to 40 mm, but we highly recommend investing in one with a maximum focal length of between 12 and 16 mm. This is the sweet spot for most professional real estate photographers as this range greatly minimizes risk of distortion.
Stay away from ultra-wide angle lenses such as fish eyes since these create significant quality loss and your listing’s images will result in unrealistic perspectives.
The aperture range built into the lens you choose is a factor that weighs heavy in real estate photography. Being able to capture images with a realistically wide aperture enables you to shoot vibrant and bright photos despite poor lighting conditions.
The most ideal aperture range would be one that could at least reach f/4 through all available focal lengths. If you can find one wider, it is not necessary but would be an amazing bonus.
A lot of the more affordable lenses come with variable aperture, which automatically adjusts to the focal length you are utilizing at any given time. While this type of lens can still produce high quality images, investing in a lens with constant aperture no matter the focal length is much more advantageous.
With consistent aperture at varying focal lengths, you are able to better maximize the lens’ features and capabilities.
Crop Factor (Crop Sensor vs Full Frame Sensor)
The crop factor of your camera directly impacts the workable focal range of your lens. With an APS-C or crop sensor camera, it is not possible to get the full field of view in your shot. Images come out more zoomed in with this type of camera, which is why it is important to balance it all out with lenses that are much wider.
However, if you plan to purchase a full frame sensor camera, you can enjoy the full field of view as is, and all there is left to do is ensure your lens is compatible with the make.
Zoom or Prime Lens
The next thing to consider is if you want to get a zoom lens or a prime lens.
Both options are great, with the only difference between them being their focal length. With prime lenses, you are to work with a singular, fixed focal length. With zoom lenses, you get a full range of focal lengths depending on the model you choose.
Because of this, prime lenses are more affordable and produce sharper images. The downside is that they lack flexibility and versatility.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to this factor. What you must understand is that if you will not be utilizing the zoom feature for your real estate photos, or do not mind packing an extra lens for that purpose, then starting off with a prime lens is a good decision. However, if you want to invest in versatility and convenience just in case the situation arises, a zoom lens is your best bet.
Chromatic Aberration and Distortion
The amount of chromatic aberration and distortion appearing in your photos is how you can tell if your lenses are made of quality standard or not. Understandably, wide-angle lenses have some level of distortion and chromatic aberration to them, but these should be minimal and can easily be fixed in post production.
Many lenses of poor quality have exaggerated distortion that would be far more difficult to edit out. In some instances, specialized software may even be needed to remedy it.
For minor distortion and chromatic aberrations, a lot of modern cameras now have a built-in feature that can automatically correct it while shooting. Should your camera lack this perk, Adobe Photoshop and other advanced editing programs have a lens profile tool to adjust it in a few clicks.
To prevent this issue with your images, do not settle for lenses that are excessively cheap or for brands that you have never heard of. With Sony lenses, this is not an issue that you need to worry too much about.
Our Picks for the Best Sony Lenses for Real Estate Photography
Taking in the 5 factors and fully understanding why these are worth weighing out can greatly help you in deciding which Sony lens is best suited for your real estate business.
Below, we list down our top 8 picks for the best Sony lenses on the market today with their corresponding pros and cons. Check them out!
#1 Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM
The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is a highly versatile wide-angle zoom lens that is exceptionally fast at capturing high quality images. It is designed for full-frame E-mount Sony mirrorless cameras.
One thing we love about this lens is its fixed maximum aperture of f/2.8, which consistently delivers stunning imagery throughout the lens’ entire zoom range, regardless if the lighting condition is favorable or not.
Its capacity to reduce chromatic aberrations and control spherical aberrations is all thanks to its two extra low distortion elements and three extremely aspherical elements built into the system. Together, these ensure that your images are exceptionally sharp, clear, and vibrant.
Moreover, its Nano AR coating on the glass has been specifically fitted to limit the amount of ghosting and flare that may appear in your photos. This in turn increases the contrast and color rendering while shooting in well-lit environments.
- A fixed aperture of f/2.8, which enables great images even in dim lighting.
- Two Direct Drive SSMs for fast and quiet autofocusing
- Focus Hold Button, which is designed to lock focus on images
- Dust and moisture resistant
- Lacks in-lens stabilization
- There are some signs of edge softness due to its field curvature at 35 mm
#2 Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G
The Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G has been dubbed the best wide angle lens for real estate photography to date. It is highly versatile and offers an ultra-wide perspective.
Similar to the above option, it features four aspherical elements, a Super Extra Low Dispersion (ED) element, three ED elements, and also Nano AR coating. All of these features combined help with corner-to-corner sharpness and minimize both chromatic aberrations and distortions in the final shot.
Its focal length range is 12 – 24 mm, offering a great range as a wide-angle option. Lastly, it is specially fitted with advanced optics to reduce the risk of ghosting, flare, and other flaws.
- Sports a very high center sharpness
- Light, compact, and highly portable design
- Extremely wide angle of view
- Integrated lens hood to block the sun and prevent lens flare
- Fitted with a Focus Hold button, enabling you to lock focus on images
- Dust- and moisture resistant construction
- Its lens hood prevents the ability to use filters
- It lacks image stabilization
- There’s noticeable vignetting in its final output
- Some signs of distortion throughout the zoom range
#3 Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 G-Master
The Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 G-Master is a relatively fast and flexible model with a practical and wide perspective. It has a maximum aperture of f1.4, which gives you better control over the depth of field in your image, especially in bad lighting. Because of this, it makes for a great option when photographing exterior real estate.
It features two Extremely Aspherical elements that are designed to greatly reduce the spherical aberrations, resulting in sharp and clear images. It also has a Nano AR coating to minimize ghosting, lens flare, and also surface reflections when it is too bright out. All in all, this adds up to a much improved contrast balance and color render.
Lastly, the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 G-Master also sports the Direct Drive SSM (Super Sonic Wave Motor) for a fast, quiet, and highly responsive manual focus control.
- Size to performance ratio is perfect
- Smooth, quiet, and fast autofocus
- Manual focus ring is linear
- Extremely sharp corners
- Images show low vignette and distortion
- Its aperture ring features selectable detents
- Coma performance could use some work
- Signs of focus pulsing in certain backlit situations
- It is not the most affordable option
#4 Sony FE 28mm f/2
The Sony FE 28mm f/2 is an impressively fast and compact wide-angle lens that is specifically designed for full-frame E-mount Sony cameras.
It sports an ultra quick f/2 maximum aperture, giving you full control over selective focus effects and creating images with shallow depth of field, whether you are shooting in favorable or poor lighting conditions.
There are three aspherical elements built into the design, including one Advanced Aspherical and two extra low dispersion elements. These two greatly help in reducing field curvature, color fringing, and various kinds of aberrations, which provide you nothing short of high quality images.
The lens utilizes a linear autofocus motor and internal focus design, which make for a quick and responsive focusing function. Lastly, it is dust and water resistant, making it ready for all kinds of weather.
- Impressive image quality
- Accurate, quick, and silent autofocus
- Wide aperture
- Dust- and water resistant structure
- Add-on conversion lenses available
- Without any corrections, there may be noticeable distortion and vignettes
- Close focus is limited
- Soft edges start to show when utilizing wide apertures
- Lacks in optical stabilization
#5 Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* FE F4 ZA OSS E-Mount
The Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* FE F4 ZA OSS E-Mount boasts of a weather-sealed and compact build. It is robust and highly portable, making it a great option for when you have to shoot in multiple, complex locations.
It has a fixed aperture of f/4, allowing you to capture stunning background and defocus its effects using a shallow depth of field – no matter the focal length you use! This is one of the factors that make it great, consistent performance and illumination at any zoom range.
It has five aspherical elements, including a large diameter Advanced Aspherical, three extra low dispersion elements, and a Zeis T* anti-reflective coating. All of these combinations guarantee optimal image quality and photos are free of any aberrations, ghosting, and lens flare.
Many professional real estate photographers could argue that this model is definitely in the running for the best Sony lens for real estate images.
- Sharp images captured throughout the whole zoom range
- Optically stabilized design
- Compact build makes it highly portable and a breeze to carry around
- Ultra-wide field of view can capture almost as much as the human eye
- Dust and water resistant
- Some signs of barrel distortion throughout the zoom range
- Not the most affordable option
- The lens extends while focusing
- Slow aperture at the wide end
#6 Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA
The Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA is a wide angle 35 mm prime lens and is the first FE- mount ever to feature an f/1.4 maximum aperture. This range makes it a great choice for low light conditions.
It incorporates a spherical and advanced spherical lens element, which is combined with the world famous ZEISS T* coating. With this duo, you are guaranteed to enjoy quality photos with little to no surface reflections or lens flare.
It also sports Sony’s signature Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) motor for fast and quiet autofocus. Its aperture ring on the lens barrel has two settings, namely “clicks” for taking still photography and “smooth” for taking videos.
- Produces impressively sharp images even at f/1.4 with little to no distortion
- Physical aperture ring
- Weather- and dust resistant build
- Rather bulky and not very portable
- Lacks optical image stabilization
#7 Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8
The Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 option is an autofocus prime lens, designed to offer one of the widest apertures available for Sony E-Mount cameras.
Its optical design consists of eleven elements including two normal glasses, and the remaining nine a mix of aspherical and special glass.
It boasts the Distagon optical design, which means that distortion, color fringing, lens flare, and other types of aberrations are mostly prevented. This guarantees you sharp, neat, and accurately colored images.
A special factor built into this lens is its floating element design and enhanced ZEISS T* anti-reflective, allowing a consistent performance no matter the lighting condition.
The lens barrel also has an OLED display, highlighting the depth of field range and focus distance. Its linear motors offer smooth, quick, and ultra silent focusing performance that works perfectly well in both still images and videos.
- Fully weather sealed construction
- Excellent autofocus system that is smooth, quick, and quiet
- Impressive center sharpness and resolution for most of the frame
- Great micro contrast, color rendition, and rendering
- Chromatic aberrations are greatly reduced and near perfectly controlled
- Lightweight yes incredibly sturdy
- OLED information display
- Moderate distortion
- Wide apertures trigger signs of vignette
- Extreme corners never get quite as sharp as the center
- Not the most affordable option
- Soft edges tend to appear unless stopped down considerably
#8 Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 DI III
Lastly, we would like to include a lens option not manufactured by Sony but is considerably efficient when paired with a Sony camera. The Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 DI III is a super wide-angle zoom lens option with a diameter of 67mm.
This lens is impressively compact and lightweight, making it a great option for those who want portable lenses. Its optical design sports a total of 13 lenses categorized into 11 groups, including Extra Low Dispersion (XLD) lens element and two aspherical lenses. All these combined are very efficient in reducing chromatic aberrations.
Moreover, these lenses all feature a BBAR (Broad-Brand Anti-Reflection) coating on them to minimize lens flares and ghosting.
It is impressive edge-to-edge resolution and contrast details thanks to its fixed aperture of f/2.8, which is also fast enough throughout its entire zoom range.
This Tamron lens uses a Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive (RXD) stepping motor to provide nothing short of the best autofocus system performance.
- Weather sealing construction
- Impressively silent, fast, and accurate autofocus performance
- Good acutance and micro contrast in rendering fine textures
- Highly resistant to flare and has excellent chromatic aberration control
- Images and videos can be corrected with the native lens
- The price to performance ratio is perfect
- Smaller zoom range
- It has a pronounced barrel distortion at 17mm
- Edge sharpness suffers when utilizing wider angles
- There are subtle signs of pincushion distortion when zoomed in
With a full list of details on the best Sony lenses available, your hunt for a great investment is hopefully narrowed down by now. Despite there being a lot of options, it boils down to your needs and preference. So long as you prioritize those, you cannot go wrong with any of the lenses listed above!